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Hayworth Concedes 18th Congressional District Race

WAMC, Allison Dunne

The tight race in New York’s 18th Congressional District has drawn to a close, even though it took until the morning after election night for it to be called.

Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney declared victory Tuesday night, but Republican Nan Hayworth did not concede, saying the race was too close to call. Wednesday morning, with all districts reporting, the unofficial results showed Maloney with 84,415 votes and Hayworth with 81,625, a difference of 2,790 votes. Maloney says his phone rang shortly after noon Wednesday, about an hour after the Associated Press called the race for Maloney.

“We just received a call from Congresswoman Hayworth. I’m very happy to announce to you that she has conceded the race. She was very gracious to do so and I want to thank her for her hard-fought campaign, thank her for her service, and I appreciate very much that she would call and resolve this race without any additional uncertainty or divisiveness,” says Maloney. “This was a difficult and hard-fought campaign and she’s good to call, and I want to thank her for that.”

In a letter to supporters entitled “with enormous gratitude,” Hayworth writes that she congratulated Maloney on his victory and wished him well. She says they agree that all of the votes will be counted and both will respect the final tally. She adds that even allowing for the likely majority of absentee ballots in her favor, she does not see a path to victory. Maloney attributed his narrow victory to a few factors.

“Obviously it was a very challenging night for a lot of people in my party, but I think we stood on our own two feet because we have a record of bipartisan results,” Maloney says.

The former Clinton administration aide also attributed his re-election to support from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who stumped for him one week before the election, as well as Republican elected officials, such as state Senators Bill Larkin and Greg Ball. And he credited his campaign team.

“We knocked on 60,000 doors in the last four days of this campaign. We called thousands of our neighbors,” says Maloney. “And that grassroots army, I believe, really is the reason we pulled off a victory when many others were falling short.”

While Maloney wound up the winner in the rematch against his predecessor in Congress, nationally, other Democrats weren’t as lucky. As the GOP picked up control of the Senate and added to its majority in the House, Maloney says his track record could serve him well when he returns for his second term.

“I’m very encouraged by the number of important bills we got passed for local needs, solutions to urgent, local problems, things like Lyme disease, things like our disability claims for veterans, things like our infrastructure needs,” says Maloney. “We’ve had success at that. I think we need to do more of that. And I think that if last night’s result makes more people focus on working in a  bipartisan fashion, then that’s a good thing.”

He mentioned his attaining results for the Hudson Valley by working across the aisle with Republicans such as Chris Gibson in the neighboring 19th Congressional District. Gibson defeated Democrat Sean Eldridge to win a third term.

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